News

League of Legends 10-Year Anniversary: Revisit the Journey

Zakaria Almughrabi  | 

League of Legends celebrates its tenth anniversary. (Image via Riot Games)

League of Legends is turning ten years old later this month. With Riot’s special anniversary livestream scheduled for October 15, it’s time to reminisce about all of the moments that have made the growth of League of Legends a special experience over this decade.

Image via Riot Games.

October 27, 2009

League of Legends is officially released. Originally, there were only 40 champions and one server, located in North America.

Image via Riot Games.

March 30, 2010

Twisted Treeline, a small 3v3 map, launches. TT was the first and longest-standing alternate game mode in League of Legends.

July 7, 2010

Season 1 begins, bringing many competitive focused changes. In addition, the EUW and EUNE servers launch a week later.

Image via Riot Games.

June 20, 2011

The Season 1 World Championship comes to a close. Fnatic from Europe are crowned the winners.

September 26, 2011

Dominion is released as the second alternate game mode. The goal is to capture and hold the control points for long enough to reduce the enemy team’s life points to zero.

December 12, 2011

The Korean server is launched, and will shortly give rise to a new generation of top-level professional League of Legends players.

April 27, 2011

Spectator mode is added, allowing for players to spectate others’ games in the client. This feature also streamlines esports broadcasts.

Image via Riot Games.

March 21, 2012

OnGameNet (OGN) hosts the first league-format League of Legends esports event: The Champions Spring 2012. The event takes place in Korea, but teams from all over the world are invited to the two-month-long league.

October 1, 2012

The first iteration of the Honor system is added, allowing players to give honorable teammates and enemies commendations after a match.

Image via Riot Games.

October 13, 2012

Season 2 Worlds comes to a close, with the Taipei Assassins upsetting the Korean favorites, Azubu Frost.

February 1, 2013

The modern ranked system takes shape, with Challenger Rank added so the best of the best can compete for the top spot on the ladder.

Image via Riot Games.

February 7, 2013

The first Riot-run League of Legends esports leagues, the NA and EU LoL Championship Series, begin their inaugural seasons. Teams that have played every season include Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming and Fnatic.

March 16, 2013

The Chinese LoL Pro League starts its inaugural season. Teams that have played every season include Invictus Gaming, Oh My God and Team WE.

Image via Riot Games.

April 20, 2013

Howling Abyss, also known as ARAM, is added to League of Legends. This 5v5 single lane mode originated as a community-favorite custom game in which players didn’t go to the other lanes.

October 4, 2013

SK Telecom T1 defeats Royal Club to win the Season 3 World Championship. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok soon becomes a name known by nearly everyone who plays League of Legends.

October 8, 2013

The “Get Jinxed” music video releases to critical acclaim, bringing in a slew of new players. The video currently has over 86 million views. Jinx was the 116th released champion.

June 3, 2014

Riot’s League of Legends-based metallic rock band, Pentakill, releases their debut album, “Smite and Ignite.”

October 19, 2014

Season 4 Worlds comes to a conclusion with Samsung Galaxy White defeating Star Horn Royal Club. Korea becomes the only region to win back-to-back world titles so far.

Image via Riot Games.

November 13, 2014

Summoner’s Rift gets a visual update. This iteration is what is still used today.

January 7, 2015

The modern LoL Champions Korea (LCK) is born. The teams that have played every season include SK Telecom T1 and KT Rolster.

Image via Riot Games.

May 7, 2015

The first annual Mid-Season Invitational is held. Edward Gaming triumphs over SK Telecom T1 in finals, earning China’s first international title.

October 19, 2015

SK Telecom T1 defeats KOO Tigers in the Season 5 Worlds finals. They are the first multi-time world champions.

Rift Herald. Image via Riot Games.

November 11, 2015

Rift Herald is added to Summoner’s Rift, creating a top side objective before Baron spawns.

February 22, 2016

Dominion is retired as an alternate game mode. Its map, The Crystal Scar, is still sometimes brought back for the Ascension rotating game mode.

March 15, 2016

The Hextech Crafting system is released, allowing players to earn free champions and skins by just playing the game.

May 4, 2016

Elemental Dragons are added, replacing the old stacking dragon buff. This feature has been tweaked but remains intact today.

October 29, 2016

SK Telecom T1 wins their third World Championship after defeating Samsung Galaxy in a five-game series. This is back-to-back with SKT’s 2015 win.

November 10, 2016

Blast Cones, Honey Fruit, and Scryer’s Blooms are added to the Rift, allowing for many new options in traversing the jungle.

April 24, 2017

The old client is retired in favor of a new, modernized version.

Image via Riot Games.

June 1, 2017

The 10-ban system is implemented, allowing every player to ban a champion in ranked. It would be implemented in pro play shortly after.

August 4, 2017

Pentakill releases their second album, “Grasp of the Undying.”

November 4, 2017

Samsung Galaxy wins Season 7 Worlds, stopping SK Telecom from achieving their 3-peat. With this win, Korea has won five World Championships in a row.

Image via Riot Games.

November 8, 2017

Runes Reforged introduces a new rune system that implements powerful keystone runes. This was a big step for new player accessibility.

January 20, 2018

The first match of the newly franchised North America LCS takes place. The ten newly permanent member teams were selected during the offseason.

Image via Riot Games.

November 3, 2018

Invictus Gaming defeats Fnatic to win Season 8 Worlds. For the first time in five years, a non-Korean team has won Worlds.

November 3, 2018

Riot’s League of Legends based K-POP group, K/DA, releases their first single “POP/STARS.”

November 27, 2018

The gold bounty system is reworked, giving the team that is behind in a game more ways to recover.

January 18, 2019

The newly franchised and rebranded League of Legends European Championship begins its inaugural season.

Image via Riot Games.

June 26, 2019

Teamfight Tactics, Riot’s take on the auto battler genre, is released to the public.

July 31, 2019

Riot announces Twisted Treeline’s retirement at the end of Season 9.

October 27, 2019

League of Legends will celebrate its 10-year anniversary!

It has certainly been a long and eventful decade. While there have been both ups and downs, League of Legends is here to stay. The game has changed immensely since its humble start in 2009, but it has adapted and evolved to stay relevant and even lead the way in the gaming industry. The future looks bright for League of Legends. Here’s to the first decade, and hopefully more to come.

Share your favorite League of Legends memories with us via social media. Celebrate the ten-year anniversary with Riot Games starting October 15!

Zakaria Almughrabi
Zakaria Almughrabi
Zakaria is a former professional TF2 player turned caster and analyst. He has had a passion for gaming and esports for years and hopes to use his skills and experience to convey why gaming is so great. His specialty games are League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros, and PUBG.